Thursday night saw Geelong continue its early season dominance with a stirring win over Adelaide, the upstart Brisbane Lions stormed home to defeat the vastly improved Port Adelaide and the Grand Final replay saw the Eagles once again victorious over a disappointing Collingwood.
Highly fancied Melbourne are yet to register a win after faltering against Essendon, the much maligned Gold Coast Suns won again, and Richmond added a couple more players to its ever increasing injury list in a big loss to an impressive Greater Western Sydney Giants at Spotless Stadium.
In a bizarre occurrence over three rounds of football, Hawthorn has scored exactly the same amount of points in all three of its games so far – 87 every time!
Here’s how the AFANA AFL Power Poll has panned out as we head into round four…
1. Geelong Cats (Last week -1)
Patrick Dangerfield tormented his old team Adelaide as the Cats powered to a 3-0 record on the back of a 24-point win over the Crows at Adelaide Oval. Tim Kelly and Sam Menegola were outstanding for Geelong while young Charlie Constable once again performed brilliantly. Geelong is now top of the AFL Table, and top of the AFANA Power Poll.
2. West Coast Eagles (4)
There was no sign of a premiership hangover as the Eagles withstood a first half Collingwood onslaught before finishing strong with a 22 point win. Andrew Gaff returned from suspension and looked hungry to put the disappointment of missing the 2018 Grand Final behind him, racking up 35 possessions in a strong all round Eagle performance.
3. Greater Western Sydney Giants (6)
The Giants steamrolled an under strength Richmond by a whopping 49 points at Spotless Stadium with a virtuoso performance from talented forward Jeremy Cameron leading the way. Cameron kicked seven goals among his 30 possessions as the Giants ran rings around a decimated Tiger defense. Lachie Whitfield racked up 42 touches, continuing his great start to the season for Greater Western Sydney.
4. Collingwood Magpies (2)
Nathan Buckley’s men were hot favorites to turn the tables from Grand Final day against the visiting West Coast Eagles, and the early returns looked good as the Magpies led by nine points. Steele Sidebottom (25 possessions) and Jordan DeGoey (3 goals) had the Eagles on the run early, but a second hand surge from premiership hero Dom Sheed and some great work by Jamie Cripps (4 goals) was once again too much for Collingwood when it counted.
5. Brisbane Lions (7)
There have been some lean years for Brisbane of late, but the young Lions are now 3-0 after a come from behind win against Port and things are looking up. Eric Hipwood (6 goals) and new recruit Lachie Neale (43 disposals) were magnificent for Brisbane, while veteran Mitch Robinson provided the muscle for a team that will only get better in the future.
6. Western Bulldogs (3)
The Bulldogs had a golden opportunity to build on a great 2-0 start to the season against the Gold Coast Suns, but wasteful use of the footy inside their own 50 meter arc cost them dearly as they went down by just five points. Marcus Bontempelli was great for the Bulldogs but his tally of three behinds without a goal would haunt the talented Bulldog as his team failed to capitalize on 66 entries inside 50.
7. Port Adelaide Power (5)
The Power once again played a speedy style of football against the Lions, and again their youngsters shined with Connor Rozee starring with five goals and 21 disposals. The return of Ollie Wines to the midfield was somewhat mitigated by the concussion to the in-form Tom Rockliff, as the Power lost a little composure with the home crowd willing Brisbane to victory. Port will have a chance to bounce back at home against Richmond in round four.
8. Hawthorn Hawks (9)
Chad Wingard took the field in Brown and Gold for his first regular season outing, and while his debut for the Hawks was quiet early, Wingard’s dynamic play and timely goals late in the game helped to seal victory over the winless Kangaroos. Jaeger O’Meara and Ricky Henderson were excellent for the 2-1 Hawks.
9. St Kilda Saints (8)
The Saints went down to Fremantle in Perth by just five points, but once again showed they are a different team to the easy beats we saw in 2018. With star midfielder Jack Steven sidelined, the Saints found themselves well down early but refused to give in, finishing fast to give the rabid Fremantle home crowd a scare as the closed to within a goal at the final siren.
10. Fremantle Dockers (12)
The Dockers boosted their record to 2-1 with a hard fought win over the Saints at Optus Stadium. Despite losing Nat Fyfe to concussion, the plucky Dockers held off the Saints with great performances by the in-form Michael Walters (27 disposals, 2 goals), Ed Langdon (29 disposals) and Brandon Matera (3 goals). Ross Lyon’s team may finally be ready to take the next step in 2019.
11. Gold Coast Suns (13)
The young Suns looked likely winners against the Bulldogs for most of the game at Marvel Stadium on Sunday, before the Bulldogs came storming home to within a goal in the final minutes. The most pleasing aspect of this game for Coach Stuart Dew would have been the maturity shown by his troops as they held on for victory away from home. Brayden Fiorini and Lachie Weller were brilliant in taking the Suns to 2-1.
12. Adelaide Crows (10)
Adelaide started slowly against Geelong at Adelaide Oval on Thursday night before a stirring third quarter had the Crows trailing by just three points with momentum and the crowd behind them at the final break. Most in the crowd expected the Crows to complete the comeback with a strong final term, but the Cats had other ideas. A late miss by Brad Crouch led to a fast finishing Cats with a solid backline led by Tom Stewart to defeat the Crows by four goals, consigning them to a 1-2 record.
13. Sydney Swans (15)
At 0-2 and desperate for a win, the Swans out-harassed, out-tackled and controlled the tempo to manufacture a business-like victory over Carlton at Marvel Stadium. Big-bodied midfielder Josh Kennedy led the way for Sydney with 31 disposals, 8 tackles and a goal. Isaac Heeney returned to top form with four goals and 26 touches.
14. Richmond Tigers (11)
The seemingly “snake bit” Tigers not only lost the game to the Giants by 49 points, they also lost Captain Trent Cotchin to a hamstring injury and key playmaking defender Jayden Short to a dislocated elbow. Add in Dustin Martin receiving a two game suspension, and the Tigers will now be missing around 750 games of experience as they travel to Adelaide to take on Port Adelaide on Saturday.
15. Essendon Bombers (18)
In the battle of the surprise 0-2 teams at the MCG on Friday night, it was the Bombers who came out on top as they finally showed some of the form the experts expected to see in 2019. Zach Merrett and Dylan Shiel were outstanding for Essendon, while livewire Anthony McDonald-Tipunwuti was scintillating with four goals.
16. Melbourne Demons (14)
Melbourne dropped to 0-3 after another disastrous defensive performance, allowing over 120 points for the second week in a row. The Demons were the top ranked defense for the final 10 rounds of 2018, but right now they look all at se as teams continually pick them apart. Coach Simon Goodwin will be losing sleep again this week as he strives to find the right formula to get this talented bunch back on track.
17. Carlton Blues (16)
Another week, another honorable loss for the Blues. Once again competitive for much of the game, Carlton is lacking the composure to finish their hard work around the ground. Patrick Cripps has been nothing less than sensational, while first year gun Sam Walsh had his best game in the navy blue in the loss to the Swans. There is no doubt the talent is there for Carlton to start notching up some wins, but their fans are becoming impatient.
18. North Melbourne Kangaroos (17)
The Kangaroos held a four goal lead over Hawthorn in the first quarter at the MCG on Sunday, yet failed to hold off the Hawks, eventually going down by 16 points in yet another disappointing result for Brad Scott’s men. Right now the Kangaroos need some players to step up and support Shaun Higgins (36 disposals) and Ben Cunnington (33) if they want to arrest their early season woes.
Article last changed on Tuesday, April 09, 2019 - 4:00 PM EDT